Letter from James Abbott McNeill Whistler to Augustus Harris
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- 2016-02-12 17:19:49
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Dear Mr. Sheriff, My effort to reach you last night was in vain. - Your gentlemen in the vestibule regretfully and firmly refused to allow my gracious host to receive his invited guest. My repulse was complete in its humiliation, for the official Guardian dismissed me in my own name - and I was not permitted to leave the place under the guise of the unknown impostor. To present myself at your door in answer to your joyous summons, was, it seemed to me, the next thing to do, after the pleasant correspondence in which I had, without suspicion, accepted your proposed hospitality, - and so unthinking, and "unarmed" (I left the cane behind me) I drove from the depths of Chelsea to distant Drury Lane - frozen but confident. A rash and ill-considered proceeding altogether! I was told that I must not pass the portal without the proper voucher for my appearance - and as the card you had been good enough to send me was, at that moment, carefully exposed upon the mantel in Cheyne Walk - too large for any pocket - my discomfiture required no further element - and I journeyed back into the night - remember - ing that you are charming - that your servants are admirable - that in short, "the principle remained the same" - and that I must send you this note of acknowledgment.
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